“The Art of Dance,” an exhibition of works by Mansa K. Mussa, a dance photographer and artist, will be shown Jan. 23-March 9 at the Library gallery of ’s College at Florham in Madison.
In honor of Black History Month the free one-man exhibition will include black-and-white and color photographs, collages, and shadow boxes, selected from the artist’s oeuvre spanning 35 years of dance photography. His collection includes photographs representing more than 100 dance companies from around the world.
Included in the exhibit is “Evidence of Evolution,” a series of nine-by-nine-inch shadow boxes which contain photographs, objects of art, fabric, and found objects. As a visual artist, Mussa became intrigued with the prospect of transforming photographs from the flat, one-dimensional surface of the photographic paper, by creating tableaux with dancers frozen in challenging and unlikely environments. The series has been the focus of his collage work for the past decade.
"Art and photography always seemed very natural to me, but dance changed my life because it required a level of physical and mental training that became a catalyst to my overall development as an artist. Dancers are the athletes of the arts, and among the most talented of all artists," said Mussa, in a release. "My career as a concert dancer allowed me to become a dance instructor, musician, singer, set, lighting and costume designer, and administrator."
A native of Newark and a resident of West Orange, Mussa has worked professionally as a photographer, concert dancer, percussionist, graphic designer, fabric artist, writer, and installation artist.
Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 2-10 p.m. An opening reception and artist’s lecture will be held 3–5 p.m. on Feb. 21, in the Orangérie. Admission is free.
For further information, contact Eleanor Friedl, FDU Library Reference Department, 973-443-8516.